Tried a Marshall DSL40C today

Bentayuk

Member
Messages
4,562
I tried a DSL40C today, and boy was that underwhelming. I honest thought I'd be most impressed than most, but I really wasn't.
I love my JVM, and just thought the DSL40 would be a simpler Marshall combo setup that could be good for a back up.
It's really not. The cleans were fairly decent. But the Crunch and Ultra settings were so bland. Even EVH thru hair metal stuff came off dull.
I honestly had nothing good to say about it. The gain was either thin or muddy. The lead1/lead2 button was crap. The shift button was useless.

My green/orange/red modes on the JVM OD channel absiloutely kill it.
I was going to grab one a few months back on the Black Friday deals, but I'm so glad I didn't.
Love me JVM, but I'll be skipping any DSL I come across again.
 

jimmyohio75

Member
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5,536
Did you get a chance to crank it? I have heard that the DSL40 needs to be fairly loud to sound good. Playing at low volumes produces fizzy and unpleasant sounds. Sounds like the stock speaker kinda sucks too.
 

guitarman3001

Senior Member
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12,187
Did you get a chance to crank it? I have heard that the DSL40 needs to be fairly loud to sound good. Playing at low volumes produces fizzy and unpleasant sounds. Sounds like the stock speaker kinda sucks too.

Yeah, the stock speaker is horrible. There are a lot of good tones in the DSL40 but you have to search for them and if you get one channel set up to sound good, the other one will probably not sound good. If there was ever an amp that desperately needed independent EQs, this is it. They should also have put the clean channel on its own, then the second channel to switch between crunch mode (currently part of the clean channel) and the first gain mode on the second channel (the second gain mode on that channel sucks and shouldn't even be on the amp, imo.)
 

jlinde

Member
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1,625
I owned both a dsl40c and a jvm410c...played side by side for days. The dsl doesn't have anything on the jvm....other than a cheaper price tag. I much prefer the jvm. No comparison in my book. Dsl is a great amp for the money though.
 

MattC

Member
Messages
1,681
Not really a fair fight going by the price tags, but a DSL40 with a Creamback 65 definitely has good sounds in it, and if you couldn't get any at all that's probably more on you than the amp. It is difficult to use it as a channel switcher, though, and the red channel is definitely not my style with or without the shared EQ issues.
 

Rick Lee

Member
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11,381
Not really a fair fight going by the price tags, but a DSL40 with a Creamback 65 definitely has good sounds in it, and if you couldn't get any at all that's probably more on you than the amp. It is difficult to use it as a channel switcher, though, and the red channel is definitely not my style with or without the shared EQ issues.

I think the version with the Creamback was sold only by Sweetwater, but they were the same price as the other versions. I have a good buddy with a Creamback version, who's an awesome player and tone chaser and he swears by his .... which makes me want one.
 

MattC

Member
Messages
1,681
I think the version with the Creamback was sold only by Sweetwater, but they were the same price as the other versions. I have a good buddy with a Creamback version, who's an awesome player and tone chaser and he swears by his .... which makes me want one.

Yup. I got mine from SW as well. It's a great amp. Not without its faults, for sure, but there are great sounds to be had. Even the widely maligned reverb isn't anywhere near as bad or useless as the forum critics would have you believe.
 

jimmyohio75

Member
Messages
5,536
Seems to be about an 85-15 split regarding the DSL40C. 85% love it and 15% hate it. Over at the Marshall forum the split is more like 90-10 in favor. Almost everyone agrees that the stock speaker needs to be replaced. Aside from that the amp needs to be semi loud to loud to sound its best. Been watching Craigslist daily hoping to score a cheap one. Already bought a Hellatone 60 to replace the stock speaker.
 

Boltagon

Senior Member
Messages
392
I am an amp snob by no means but I was totally unimpressed when I tried the DSL40c. I was surprised how by it's total lack of flavor. I really dislike saying anything being a negative Nellie but there was just nothing there.
 

forum_crawler

Member
Messages
7,603
Also coming from a JVM is a bit unfair. I think of the DSL as something someone would step up to after playing a valvestate amp, or a valveking.

Not knocking it, but something you are rarely going to like when you come from something so much better as the JVM.
 

JK1965

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,603
Hey all,

First post here actually.
Back in September I went to GC with the intention of buying one of these DSL40's. I have a 100 watt Ceriatone Yeti and needed something smaller for home and gigs playing bluesy rock stuff. I spent some time with it and was ready to buy it when someone suggested I try a Limted Edition Deluxe Reverb Reissue they had. 10 minutes later I was out the door with the Fender! It wasn't even a question. So glad it went that way. I use both channels of the DR and it's real versatile with pedals through the Normal channel.
Would love to have a really good small Marshall too though.
 

snow and steel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,381
I had one for a while. The stock speaker is truly awful - that 70/80 is a screeching murderous tone killer. Truly horrendous. With a Vintage 30 or a creamback, up to stage volume [its not a low volume amp] and on the green channel with some pedals for various levels of drive and various tones it was OK. That being said the DSL100h sounds better, and I can only assume its some combination of the MDF cab and the open back [Marshalls tend to thrive on closed back].
 

lowpaygigs

Member
Messages
1,187
Dsl 40c is a compromise of an amp if there ever was. Green channel is the best part. It does some very nice clean and crunch. The Red is fizzzzzzz. Trying to get a decent metal or hard rock sound is a fight! On a Marshall? Shared eq makes it hard to switch between channels. (The silly clipping mod is not that great.) Lousy speaker, mdf construction, and made in Vietnam. You get what you pay for here. Sure some tweaks might help but better to save unless a Marshall name and look is what takes you.
 
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jlinde

Member
Messages
1,625
I actually had a great sound out of my my dsl 40. Though it took some tweaking. Lowered the bright cap value to 200pf. installed a budda phat 12 speaker and ran all vintage longplate sylvania 12ax7s. Also ran an mxr 10 band with mids pegged. Sounded nice. But was pointless keeping the amp when I bought the jvm. So I sold it..I would probably still have the amp if I hadn't grabbed the jvm.
 

lowpaygigs

Member
Messages
1,187
I actually had a great sound out of my my dsl 40. Though it took some tweaking. Lowered the bright cap value to 200pf. installed a budda phat 12 speaker and ran all vintage longplate sylvania 12ax7s. Also ran an mxr 10 band with mids pegged. Sounded nice. But was pointless keeping the amp when I bought the jvm. So I sold it..I would probably still have the amp if I hadn't grabbed the jvm.

If one has to do all that for a good sound...
 

guitarman3001

Senior Member
Messages
12,187
If one has to do all that for a good sound...

Yep... With mine I replaced the speaker and put a 5751 in either V1 or V2, don't remember which one. Then I adjusted channel two so that it would sound good since I was more concerned about a good dirt tone, then when channel 2 sounded good, I switched to channel 1 and used the gain and volume to set it to where it would sound somewhat usable. I ended up with a good sounding dirt channel, a pristine clean channel that sounded OK, but I couldn't use the crunch setting because I found no way to get the crunch setting to sound good at the same time as channel 2.

Lots of work to get this thing to sound OK as a channel switcher. In contrast, I just got a Friedman Runt 20 and it took me less than 30 seconds to dial in both channels to sound good separately. The clean channel only has a three way tone switch and the dirt channel has a full TMB tone stack. Both channels are separate but with a very simple layout.

I'm thinking my DSL40C may end up on Craigslist very soon.
 

white cloud

Member
Messages
686
If I come out of a music shop after playing a guitar, amp or pedal and leave unimpressed I probably wouldn't bother creating a thread about it. Especially if I am satisfied with what I have and comparing it to etc. However if I have owned said amp and have used it it for it's intended purpose and it falls flat then yeah I understand that. I replaced the stock speaker in my DSL40c with a WSG Retro 30 and couldn't be happier. Hearing this amp in a band setting or recorded in a heavy mix is a better test than shop noodling. I get that tone is very subjective so to each his own. I will note that for me, recording my Mesa Single Rectifier was more of a challenge than this amp
 




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